Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department
Sheriff Butch Conway
2900 University Parkway Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Media Release – August 11, 2010
Stacey Bourbonnais – Public Information Officer
Office – 770 822-3924
For Immediate Release:
A woman, who left her dog in a hot car at the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center Tuesday, was arrested for cruelty to animals after deputies were preparing to force entry to the car to get the obviously distressed animal out of the vehicle.
The outside temperature at the time was 97 degrees, but inside the car deputies took a reading with a laser thermometer at 148 to 150 degrees. The little dog named Benji was in obvious distress and panting heavily. Deputies were about to force entry to the locked vehicle when a woman who said Benji belonged to her came running out of the courthouse.
Carmencita Defreitas Spinola was charged with one count of cruelty to animals and was taken into custody at the courthouse by Gwinnett deputies. Benji was given water by deputies and after being in the air conditioning of the car seemed to be recovering. The dog was released to a male passenger and he said he would take the dog home immediately. Deputies noted in a report that Ms. Defreitas Spinola had only left the window barely cracked in the extreme heat.
A conservative estimate before deputies were notified by an employee about the dog put her in the building for more than 30 minutes.